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7 amazing examples of biomimicry

By: Shea Gunther on Feb. 8, 2010, 2:30 p.m.
Burr = Velcro

Photo: Burr: almassengale/Flickr; Velcro: stocksnapper/iStockphoto

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Burr = Velcro

Velcro is widely known example of biomimicry. You may have worn shoes with velcro straps as a youngster and you can certainly look forward to wearing the same kind of shoes in retirement.


Velcro was invented by Swiss engineer George de Mestral in 1941 after he removed burrs from his dog and decided to take a closer look at how they worked. The small hooks found at the end of the burr needles inspired him to create the now ubiquitous Velcro. Think about it: without this material, the world wouldn't know Velcro jumping — a sport in which people dressed in full suits of Velcro attempt to throw their bodies as high up on a wall as possible.